Grad Student’s ‘Pet’ Project Turned Business Sparks IYA Journey

Photo of female student with her dog

When Ketana Chadalavada graduated college in 2019 she didn’t have a firm grasp on what her next move would be. What she did have was an adorable dog, a social media account, and a passion for wellness and nutrition. COVID-19’s impact soon took hold, which meant more time at home with her beloved pup – a blue-eyed Miniature Australian Shepherd named Coda, and more time to cultivate an unexpected career path. What began as an Instagram hobby transformed into a business selling natural eco-friendly pet products. Chadalavada, now pursuing a Master’s in Integrated Design, Business, and Technology at USC Iovine and Young Academy, credits this accidental endeavor as the inspiration for taking her entrepreneurial, tech, and design dreams to the next academic level. 

“I opened a little shop called Holisticanine and then I started to think, why don’t I just make this myself? I feel like I could do it better and really focus on the sustainability aspect. That’s something I learned is not really focused on in the pet industry, it’s a multi-billion dollar industry now, and the amount of plastic generated is crazy. I started to experiment and made my house a laboratory, and made these products on my own. It really started to grow and expand from there,” Chadalavada explains. 

Selling everything from organic kelp supplements to handmade holistic balm, Holisticanine took off. Being a cancer survivor herself, Chadalavada was able to foster a mission she supported. While quenching an entrepreneurial thirst, she was honoring a personal commitment to a healthier and more sustainable lifestyle, for both herself and the pets everywhere. 

“I’m loving IYA and the group project aspect of it. I didn’t realize how collaborative it would actually be. That’s what I’m learning a lot of, because for so long I was alone working on my own. It’s really cool to figure out things in teams and bounce things off each other,” she shares. 

Read more about Ketana’s story